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Prayerful Parenting: A Review of “Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday”


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*This post contains affiliate links. This means we may receive referral fees if you make a purchase using our link. This referral fee does not affect the cost of the product or service.*

Moms are in charge of a lot. We hold multiple jobs. We wear multiple hats. We juggle multiple balls, making sure to keep them all in the air at all times. So, it’s no surprise we try to control everything we can. We make plans, and back-up plans and then emergency plans for our back-up plans, because if we don’t then all those balls could come crashing down with such velocity and with such a domino effect that it could send someone spiraling straight into a full-blown meltdown. And that someone is usually us.

Moms need a cheerleader. A guide. A leader. A chauffeur. A tutor. A mentor. Someone who can reciprocate all the roles a mom fills on a daily basis. We need someone in our corner. Someone who can pick us up and take over control when the going gets tough and we feel like we just might lose our ever-lovin’ minds. Our social media feeds can certainly “feed” the parenting pressure. The mom-anxiety. The Mom-guilt. The feeling that we can’t trust anyone but ourselves and our minivan. And although we may use hashtags like #jesustakethewheel or wear t-shirts that say “this mom runs on coffee and Jesus,” how often do we actually rely on Him as heavily as we rely on our “#dryshampoo?”

Enter, Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday by Valerie Woerner. “Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday” confronts the mom-stress head on. Looks it right in the eye and tells it to take a hike. Because, despite what we may see on social media, there’s so much more to motherhood than coffee and complaining about your crazy, misbehaved kids or your good-for-nothin’ husband. Valerie uses Romans 12:2 in the introduction to her latest book, and it’s this very line that had me hooked until I reached the last page. It reads, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” She goes on to to link this verse to the increasing number of memes, posts, tshirts, etc. etc. etc. that spin motherhood into this wild mess of misery. Sure it seems harmless, and we might get a little laugh out of them, but I can assure you this book is much more relatable than those images you see online.

She says we are mom’s, not martyrs, that we are not “victims of motherhood” and that “our children are not inconveniences.” My favorite line from this book reads, “The unpredictability of children is something we should be grateful for, because it reminds us how much we need the one who is really in control.” We, as moms, have so much to be thankful for. So many daily opportunities to find joy in the chaos of raising children. So many moments to find laughter instead of frustration. Sure, there are hard days. There are moments when I think I may not make it to nap time, let alone until 6pm when my husband gets home. There are days when I cry just as much as my toddler does. But those days are far outweighed by the good days. By trips to the library and the zoo and watching them laugh and learn and become these wonderful little people.

That is where God wants us to live, and that is how Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday made me realize that I can find joy everyday by choosing to see everyday moments as joyful ones. In the happy moments that remind us why having the opportunity to raise children is the biggest blessing on earth. In the mayhem that will someday become the peaceful memories of their childhood. In baby giggles and slimy kisses and sticky hands and messy faces. In barefoot dance parties, in laughing while saying “go get your shoes” for the 459th time in twenty minutes and, yes, even in the days when I think things may really come apart at the seams. Because being a little someone’s mama is simply the best job in the whole world and no meme or GIF or website can convince me otherwise. And yes, while this honest review “contains affiliate links,” I can assure you that my motivation for sharing this book with my fellow mamas is not monetary. It is to encourage you to read this book cover to cover, tell a friend about it, then talk about it and invite prayer into your parenting. It hasn’t made me perfect, I will always be a-work-in-progress mom, but it’s certainly made me better.

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The Pursuit of Happiness: Our Visit with Blume


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Confession, this was not our first time in Blume, a quaint and quirky little shop in Lebanon, OH and often our first stop when we’re in town. Hospitality comes naturally to owner Amanda Marsh and her employees — we talked, we laughed, James spit pretzels, a close friend and employee bounced Franklin and we felt right at home and found we had quite a bit in common with Amanda, which might just be what draws us to her store so often.

<Blume is toddler approved … but not toddler proof. Thank goodness for stroller restraints!

Amanda was working as an accountant when her passion for nature, home decor and music pulled her out of her cubicle and led her straight to Lebanon’s Broadway. She was serendipitously presented with the opportunity to rent her dream storefront and with the support of her husband, friends, and family she went for it. After six months of renovations, what was once Reid Pharmacy was up and running under its new identity: Blume Home.

<Don't you just want to live here? We'd like to move in.

Walking through the eclectic collection in her store you are bound to find inspiration for your own home. Every space, every piece seems to serve a purpose — from the tea towels to a small butterfly dish, to handmade quotes and lyrics hand picked by Amanda, every item just seems to fit together, despite how unique they may be.

Handmade signs and canvases are hung throughout her store, most of them from the songs and artists who inspire her. Her musical tastes? A little bit of folk and a little bit of jazz, a little Frank Sinatra with a glass of wine when she wants to page through a favorite cook book (a woman after our own heart.) or her “pre-Pinterest” book of inspiration – a binder full of magazine clippings and photos.

And her advice to all you aspiring store owners and dream chasesrs? “Do it for the right reason. If you’re making plans to open your own business and you’re still getting excited, keep going.”

Of course we highly recommend stopping into the store, but you can also catch Amanda and her team for the third year in a row at this years Charm at the Farm:

June 21, 2019 4:00 pm – June 23, 2019 3:00 pm 4953 Bunnell Hill Rd. | Lebanon, OH 45036

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Local Guide: Fresh Picked Apples


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This time of year my mind seems to wander in two different directions. Half of me is soaking in the last of the summer sun while the other half longs for cooler weather, scarves and changing leaves. When it comes to fall comfort food, apple recipes are some of my favorites. I know, I know, it’s only August, but I just can’t help but let my mind creep forward a little while I relish these last few weeks of summer.

We’ll have an autumn apple recipe lineup for you in a about a month, but in the meantime we thought we’d give you a little guide to where to snag the best fresh picked apples (and where to pick your own, too!)

  • McGlasson Farms – Fresh and locally grown produce including apples!
  • Brumbaugh Fruit Farm – This place has everything! Loaded with activities for kids of all ages and a market and bakery make this the perfect family friendly fall destination.
  • Iron’s Fruit Farm – Not only can you get your fresh picked apples in their produce market, but they even provide wonderful recipes for your fresh produce on their website.
  • Tuken’s Farm Market – Apple picking days are coming up soon! Click the link for more info!
  • Lebanon Country Applefest – Not only can you buy fresh apples in bulk at the Country Applefest, you can also get just about every kind of baked, fried or cider apple treat you can think of.
  • Shaw Farms –  Shaw Farms gets the Fall Festival party started early! Visit between mid september – end of October for fresh apples, pumpkins and fun for the whole family.
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Secrets to Assembling the Perfect Flower Arrangement


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Last Saturday we visited Morning Sun Flower Farm , located in quaint and quiet Morning Sun Ohio, to attend Two Little Buds’ farm to vase workshop. When we met with owner Mindy and her mother back in February, we fell in love with their dream, and their flowers (flash back –> here). Since then, we’ve been counting down the days until their Farm to Vase Workshop.

Walking up to the farm, the first thing that caught our eye was the stable of horses; quickly followed by the hill absolutely covered in wild flowers ( I’m sorry but are we 30 minutes outside of Hamilton or are we in Heaven?).

It was the perfect setting. A small bar under the shade of an old tree, a large white tent umbrellaed tables covered with vintage table cloths, and live acoustic music; all overlooking what Two Little Buds is all about, the fields of flowers.

Mindy started the night by telling her story of how Morning Sun Flower Farm came to be. It truly was a dream turned in to reality by a lot of love and elbow grease that has cultivated a sense of belonging within her own family and all those who visit her farm and shop.

All  guests receive dinner, drinks, a vase for your arrangement, clippers and an apron. After a lesson from the pro herself, you are free to fly with the butterflies. Free to harvest whatever flowers you choose ( about 10-15 flowers in total). We strolled throughout the fields watching a dahlia clipped here, cone flowers there.

Mindy and her team not only do bouquets and arrangements for weddings, you are also able to visit Morning Sun Flower Farm to pick your wedding arrangements. How’d ya like to actually watch your future hubby pick your flowers himself! Cue: “he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me!”  Farm to Wedding Experience

We’re convinced that no bad looking bouquet could come from the Morning Sun Flower Farm. So, even if you’re an amateur gardener or a notorious plant killer, the secret to assembling a gorgeous flower arrangement is to attend a Farm to Vase Work Shop —Click Here. for all the lovely details!

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Weekend Plans: Summer Farm to Vase Workshop


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We are sooo excited to be invited to Morning Sun Flower Garden tomorrow evening for their Summer Farm to Vase Workshop ! We had such a great time interviewing Mindy and her staff at their shop, Two Little Buds,  in Hamilton, we were thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to check out where all these beautiful blooms begin and where all the hard work happens.

 

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We’ll post plenty of photos here next week (and we can’t wait to share them with you!), but in the meantime we thought we’d repost our interview with the gals over at Two Little Buds in case you missed it a few months ago.

Check out our little visit with them here!

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Our Favorite Antique Hotspots: Columbus to Cincinnati


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We don’t exactly do run of the mill birthdays in our family. They’re a production. They require thoughtful planning, unplanning and replanning. No, sir, we do not just pass the day with a last year’s candle and a couple cupcakes.

Jess turned 24 last week but has been planning her day for at least a month. She left her heart in Columbus, OH when she graduated from The Ohio State University (go bucks!) two years ago, so we knew where we’d likely be spending the day. So after two coffee stops, a two hour drive and the best egg and bacon sandwich we’ve ever tasted (Thanks, Fox in The Snow!) we had an entire day of antique shopping ahead of us and all of our favorite places just happened to be along our route back home.

We thought we’d share our favorites with you. Try them out and show us what you find!

  • Columbus
    • Flower Child Vintage – located in the Short North Art District, this funky little place is like stepping into a time machine and is loads of fun to wander through. It’s groovy, baby.
  • Springfield
    • Heart of Ohio Antique Center – A definite don’t-miss-it spot. Block out a couple hours to make it through their showrooms … This place is HUGE! Em’s not exactly directionaly gifted. She practically needs a compass to get around in there

  • Waynesville
    • Waynesville is chock full of antique shops. Park the car and start walking, we promise you won’t leave empty handed!
  • Lebanon
    • Lebanon Peddler – we ran into the Lebanon Peddler (literally, it was raining cats and dogs) after following them on Instagram and couldn’t believe we hadn’t come sooner. Off the beaten path, Lebanon Peddler is a picker’s paradise.
    • Miller’s Antique Mall  – How do we love Miller’s? Let us count the ways. This is one of our can’t-leave-without-buying-something place. They have an incredible selection, tons of vendors and super friendly staff. We love you Miller’s Antique Mall.

  • Fairfield
    • Ohio Valley Antique Mall – another mall worthy of a clear schedule. If you can’t find it at OVAM, you’re not looking hard enough.

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  • Cincinnati
    • Wooden Nickel – If you’re in search of larger items like an antique bar, chandeliers, or some of the most gorgeous antique furnishings you’ve ever laid your flea-market-lovin’ eyes on, Wooden Nickel is your one stop shop. 
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Galentine’s Day Celebrations Abound!


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Amidst all the white table cloth reservations, heart-shaped candies, gushy greeting cards and fragrant flowers lies a lesser known, but rapidly rising February holiday. A day for celebrating the leading ladies in your life and showing appreciation for their support and friendship. Galentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and we have four perfect ways to celebrate!

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Em, in the purple dress with our cousins, Heidi, Megan and Lindsay, Easter 1993. Our family did bold brows and blunt bangs long before they were in style. 

Shop Local and Celebrate Early

  • Sara’s House and Basil 1791 – Stop in to Hamilton’s newest restaurant, Basil 1791 for sushi (excuse us while we squeal with excitement. Hamilton FINALLY has a sushi place downtown! woohoo!) Then head over to Sara’s House for her FREE Galentine’s Day event. Shop her adorable home decor store, along with handmade gifts from Gingham Girl Greetings (who we also love!) desserts from, Hamilton staple, Hyde’s Restaurant  and free wine tastings from Hanover WineryDid you hear us say free wine? 

 

“Invest” in your friendships

  • Queen City Exchange (2/14 4pm – 12am) – If you’ve never been to Queen City Exchange, this is the perfect opportunity. Make an investment in your craft beer palate with stock market pricing or snag a few 1/2 price wine bottles. Stick around for Galentine’s Trivia beginning at 8pm

Get Cheesy

  • The Rhined – Who doesn’t love cheese? The Rhined on Elm street in downtown Cincinnati will have a special Galentine’s Day wine list, bubbly, soft cheeses and chocolates from Velveteen Chocolate and like their website says, “No crafts, no activities, just wine. cheese. and chocolate.” The makings of a perfect girls night if you ask us.

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A gift for our parents a few years ago a professional, but cheesy little photo shoot.

Treat Yo’ Self in Over the Rhine

  • Grab the girls and head downtown for a whole day of pampering yourselves. Start with housemade seasonal sangria at Nation, a fresh coat of paint or a mani/pedi at Spruce Natural Nail Shop, then head out to shop the stores that are scattered throughout Over the Rhine (Elm & Iron is one of our favorites!) To top it all off head over Lane + Kate‘s collaborative store with Two Little Buds Florist and buy yourself some jewelry and a bouquet, because we all know you deserve it.

 

Go ahead, get dolled up, go dancing, have a couple glasses of champagne and for cryin’ out loud tell your girlfriends just how much you love them!

 SDJ E-Signature copy

 

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SDJ’s Vintage-Inspired Gift Guide


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Let’s face it. Some people are just hard to shop for. Whether they’re the “already has everything” person, or the return/regift type – we all have at least one on our list who sends our inner Santa into a frenzy.

Fear not friends, for Sincerely, Doris Jane scoured the mall, for blog post research of course *wink wink*, in search of vintage inspired gifts that are timeless classics, an instant hit and surely to not be returned. We’ve got you covered from stocking stuffers to hardly-fits-under-your-tree gifts.

  • Remember our interview with Sara’s House?  We stopped in to do a little shopping and Sara is offering an EXCLUSIVE BOGO offer on her mercury glass ornaments for our readers only! Simply mention: SINCERELYSANTA and you’re an instant VIP. They’re gorgeous on a tree and remind us of the ornaments our grandma’s always had. The best part? They’re not made with actual mercury so they’re household safe.
  • Nothing says old school glam like a holly-berry red lip. We stopped over to the MAC counter in Macy’s and tried on a few. Our favorite? MAC Red in their satin finish ($17.50). The perfect shade for a very Marilyn Christmas. Find it online here.

  • What’s every lovely lady want for Christmas? Why, Chanel No. 5 of course! We loved the “pink bottle” version. Starting at $80 at Macy’s.

  • Get your Don Draper on with crystal barware. We love this set from Macy’s, on sale for $100 right now, but we’ve seen it for as low as $70! A staple in any MadMen loving household.

  • Gloves make a statement. They say I’m classy. They say I’m confident. They also say, I’m cold. We love these leather gloves by Charter Club at Macy’s for about $50.

  • Pearls go with everything. Faux or Authentic, they’re a must have for every lady’s jewelry box. The best part? You can literally find them EVERYWHERE.

  • Christmas music sounds best on vinyl and whether you have records that have been passed down to you or if you’ve picked them up in a local antique store like we did (for just a few dollars a piece at Ohio Valley Antique Mall), you’ll need something to play them on. We had to have this Crosley Rochester 5-in-1 Deluxe Entertainment System for just $99 at Target right now.
  • The holidays can be crazy and chaotic. We recently read “Chasing Slow” by Erin Loechner for a fresh perspective on prioritizing family and simply slowing down to enjoy the people and things we’ve been blessed with. We really related to her point of view and think our readers will love it! We found it for $14.95 at Anthropologie, but it’s also available on Amazon, and at your local library.

Happy shopping everybody! Share your vintage inspired gifts on our Facebook page or in the comments below! We’d love to see what you’ve found.

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A Better Black Friday


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We know we promised a post yesterday afternoon, but we literally shopped until we dropped yesterday. Now that we’re rested and fully caffeinated we feel like we can properly share our Black Friday secret. The secret that will change your shopping strategy forever.

A few years ago we decided to ditch the crowds, chaos and 4:00am alarm clocks and opt for something a little different. Sleeping in, stops for coffee and snacks, significantly less crowds and antiques … all of our favorite things!

This year’s Black Friday destination was Lebanon, OH. Lots of history, adorable shops, and lots of really great bargains on really great stuff. So we thought we’d bring you a guide to turning your Black Friday shopping into a little overnight, because that’s officially on our calendar for next year…

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Where to start: 

On our way to Lebanon we stopped by Ohio Valley Antique Mall, one of our favorite local spots. We very rarely leave there empty handed. This time we found a booth packed with these old ads, and at only $2.50-5.00 a piece, we couldn’t pass them up. We also found this piece of an old soap crate from the Andrew Jergens Company. Stay tuned for how we use them!

 

Where to Shop: 

Miller’s Antique Mall – Another one of our favorites! Everything from vintage gloves to china cabinets, you’ll find it here.

Broadway Antique Mall – They also have a little bit of everything. Lots of antique jewelry, records and old radios that actually work. So cool.

BluClover – The perfect place if you’re looking for a one of a kind print for your home, most hand painted by the owner’s daughter. We spent at least 20 minutes planning the nurseries of children we don’t have yet in this place. Everything is heartbreakingly sweet and beautiful.

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A little peek inside BluClover, compliments of their Facebook page. 

Blume – We love love love Blume. Gorgeous additions to your home decor, gifts for the perpetually-impossible-to-shop-for person on your list and lots and lots of our latest obsession … tea towels. We can’t get enough. See ya what little cash we had in our wallet.

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This beautiful photo courtesy of Blume’s Facebook page. 

Green Country Market – Another great little gift and home decor spot! Like we died and went to a Joanna Gaines designed heaven. This place is like a tiny little piece of Magnolia Farms.

Ambassador Antiques and Fine Linens – remember our post about Jessica’s bedding? This is where she found all those beautiful frilly features. Easily #1 on our to-visit list every time we make it up to Lebanon. You’ve never seen such a perfectly peaceful store, we’re sure of it.

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Another great shot from Ambassador Antiques Elegant Baby and Fine Linens Facebook page. 

Where to Eat: 

Breakfast: Royce Cafe & Coffeehouse

Lunch: Village Ice Cream Parlor 

Dinner: The Golden Lamb Inn & Restaurant

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Where to Sleep:

The Golden Lamb Inn & Restaurant – Hands down one of the coolest places to rest your weary, shopping exhausted head. Presidents, authors and other people from history have all stopped for a stay at The Golden Lamb. How many other places can offer a chance to stay in the same room as people like Harriet Beecher Stowe, James Whitcomb Riley and Ronald Reagan just to name a few?

Bonus Fun…FREE CARRIAGE RIDES!  We stumbled upon free carriage rides on the way back to the car and couldn’t pass it up.

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Tell us what we’re missing! Do you have a favorite antique store we need to check out?